Creepy clowns prompt 999 calls

Sighting of creepy clowns caused frightened folk to dial 999 in November after a Facebook Pennywise impersonator started an unusual craze.

A Freedom of Information Request has revealed Derbyshire Police received 29 reports of people dressed as the circus performers in November .

The copycat craze is believed to have started on social network site Facebook and involves people dressing as the circus characters to surprise passers-by in public places.

The trend has led to several police forces issuing warnings across the country.

But a spokeswoman for Derbyshire police says such sightings appear to have been a flash in the pan.

She said: “ It seems to have been a bit of a fad that we are no longer getting any reports of.

“One or two people have been scared by it, yes.

“It was something that started on Facebook and it seems people locally have picked up on what’s happening in other areas of the country and for whatever reason decided to dress like a clown.”

The Spot Northampton’s Clown Facebook page now has more than 200,000 likes and sees a man dressed at Pennywise, from Stephen King’s horror film It, appearing in various places around the town, waving mysteriously or jumping out at people.

The craze led to numerous copycat sites across the country, with a Facebook page set up for a Chesterfield Clown performing similar acts around the town.